Did you know that one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States and around the world in general, is to work on construction sites? According to statistics (by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), the situation is pretty bad. Specifically, between 2015 and 2017, the rate of fatal accidents at construction sites increased. More specifically, by 7% in 2016 compared to 2015, but it’s also important to say that 2017 also had similar statistics. This is really disturbing. An estimated 5,147 workers died as a result of workplace injuries in 2017 across all industries, and one of the leading is the construction industry.
Is it really necessary for such a large number of people to die every year primarily at construction sites, because of poor conditions and equipment, but also many other factors? We are convinced it isn’t and that it is necessary to raise people’s awareness of the potential dangers lurking on construction sites. For example, have you heard of the Fatal Four? This is the name of the four most common causes of injuries and deaths at construction sites. These include falling injuries (leading), injuries resulting from being caught between objects, then injuries resulting from being struck by objects and eventually electrocutions. It must be emphasized that injuries associated with these causes often end tragically.
Still, is there anything we can do to improve the situation that is really bad? Of course, there is! For example, you can read some safety tips on construction sites in the following text. We believe this will help raise awareness of the extent of the problem. Also, you can share this article with your friends and followers on social networks to help to achieve awareness of work-related injuries and especially on construction sites as well as high rates of fatalities. So, now, if you’re ready, let’s get started.
1. Protective equipment is a must-have on construction sites
As we said, injuries and accidents occurred at construction sites, often can result in death. To reduce the severity of the injury or even avoid it completely, ensure that all construction site employees wear personal protective equipment or PPE. Just imagine the situation that some building material falls from a height. In these situations, the only thing between you and the falling object is PPE. This can be a crucial difference between minor and serious injuries. Mandatory personal protective equipment includes high-visibility jackets, helmets, safety goggles, ear protection, etc. Always make sure that only the correct equipment is available at the construction site.
2. Keep warning signs visible at all times
Another way to prevent injuries and accidents at a construction site is to place all the warning signs prescribed by law. It is very important that signs always remind workers to wear the above-mentioned PPE, but also for pedestrians and everyone passing by to be are aware of the potential danger in case the construction site is in town. For example, only some of the signs required on a construction site are for warning of the presence of gas/chemicals, falling objects, large vehicles operating, and the like.
Although many construction companies use these warnings, it is often the case that they are not properly positioned, not sufficiently visible, or even absent. One of the companies that should serve as a model to others is SprayGrassAustralia. The people in charge of security really take the problem of injuries and fatalities that often happens on construction sites around the world seriously. Therefore, they are focused primarily on the safety of their workers, which is the number one priority for this company.
3. Technology is very important and useful
We know it sounds a little shabby, but technology has really advanced and it is very important that we take full advantage and benefits we have. For example, a smartphone is one of the things that may be really useful to you. There are many apps that have been created to increase the safety of construction site workers. One of these is the StaySafe App, which lets its users know at any time what the status of a particular worker is. For example, there are panic button functions, no-motion alert, sharing of noted hazards with other workers, etc. So, our advice is to take advantage of these gadgets and opportunities that technology offers us.
4. Make sure the scaffolds are properly constructed and installed
Probably the most important tool used by construction site workers is scaffolding. Simply, working high above the ground surface wouldn’t be possible without these metal structures. However, although scaffolds are quite safe and improved these days, it is important to note that accidents still occur. The main reasons for this are failures during the installation and constriction of the scaffolding, as well as subsequent poor maintenance. Therefore, all this affects the safety and can endanger workers’ lives. Therefore, workers installing scaffolds must be trained and must do the job as high quality as possible.
Don’t tolerate any improvisation, inconsistency or damage of construction, as well as placing scaffolds on uneven and unsafe surfaces (it must always be flat and firm).
5. Always work on improvements and remember to communicate with workers
Even if you have the perfect protective equipment and always checking if your employees carry it, that the scaffolds are properly installed, and checking all we have talked about before, there are always some drawbacks. However, the fewer drawbacks are, the more secure the construction site is for workers. However, if you are, for example, a work supervisor, it isn’t always possible to notice and correct all potential hazards on time. As much as you try to keep track of everything, it’s simply not possible. Therefore, make sure you communicate with the workers as much as possible about any things that you may have missed but they have noticed.
Also, talk to the workers about the equipment, whether something needs to be changed, improved, etc. Everything is very important and useful in order to provide the maximum safe working environment. If you follow all the safety tips we have mentioned so far, there is no doubt that the construction site will be much safer and injuries will be very, very rare.